When you wear your baby in a sling, you can walk anywhere freely without worrying about navigating steps, crowds or narrow aisles with a stroller. Baby wearing can help block out excess stimuli and protect an overstimulated baby; It allows for discreet nursing in public places; It goes on with just a flip of the wrist and it comes off just as easily when you are ready. Rings slings are free of straps and buckles making them simple and durable. Ring slings can also double as a changing pad, a blanket, and a cushion when you are away from home.
2. Wearing a baby in a ring sling promotes their physical development.
When a baby is attached to their mother, they are in tune with the rhythm of her breathing, the sound of her heartbeat, and the movements their mother makes – walking, bending, and reaching. This stimulation helps them to regulate their own physical responses, and exercises their vestibular system, which controls balance. Research has shown that premature babies who are touched and held, gain weight faster and are healthier than babies who are not1. Mechanical swings and other holding devices do not provide these same benefits.
3. Babies worn in carriers are happier.
Studies have shown that the more babies are held, the less they cry and fuss2. Research by Hunziker and Barr (1986) found that babies who were worn regularly cried 43% less, and 54% less during the evening hours. It is speculated that because their needs for physical contact are being met, and because their caregiver can attend more quickly, they have less need to cry than other babies. Baby-wearing is especially useful for colicky babies, who are far happier being worn. But placid, content babies and children will also benefit greatly from the warmth and security of being held close.
4. Baby-wearing is healthy for you!
It can be challenging for new mothers to find time to exercise, but when you carry your baby around with you most of the day, or go for a brisk walk with your baby in your sling, you will enjoy the dual benefits of walking and "weightlifting". A long walk in the sling is also an excellent way to help a tired, but over-stimulated, child fall asleep. 5. Even toddlers appreciate the security of a ring sling. Ring slings are usually associated with infants, but they can be very useful for toddlers as well; Most ring slings can accommodate children up to 35 or 40 pounds. The world can be a scary place for toddlers, who feel more confident when they can retreat to the security of the ring sling when they need to do so. Toddlers often become over-stimulated, and a ride in the sling helps to soothe and comfort them before (or after!) a "melt-down" occurs. It can be very helpful in places like the zoo, aquarium, or museum, where a small child in a stroller would bee too short many of the exhibits. Because of the ease of using one, slipping a toddler into a ring sling makes every walk across a parking lot, easier, safer and calmer.
6. Baby-wearing helps you and your baby to communicate with each other.
The more confidence we have in our parenting, the more we can relax and enjoy our children. A large part of feeling confident as a parent comes with the ability to read our baby's cues successfully. When we hold our baby close in a sling, we become finely attuned to their gestures and facial expressions. Many baby-wearing parents report that they have never learned to distinguish their baby's cries – because their babies are able to communicate effectively without crying! Every time a baby is able to let us know that they are hungry, bored or wet without having to cry, their trust in us is increased, their learning is enhanced, and our own confidence is reinforced. This cycle of positive interaction enhances the mutual attachment between parent and child, and makes life more enjoyable for everyone.
7. Ring slings are a bonding tool for fathers, grandparents, and other caregivers.
Ring slings are a useful tool for every adult in a baby's life. It’s sweet to see a new father going for a walk with his baby in a sling. That baby is becoming used to his dad's voice, heartbeat, movements and facial expressions, and the two are forging a strong attachment of their own. Fathers don't have the automatic head-start with bonding that comes with gestation, but that doesn't mean they can't make up for this once their baby is born. The same goes for babysitters, grandparents and all other caregivers. Cuddling up close in the ring sling is a wonderful way to get to know the baby in your life, and for the baby to get to know you!
8. Ring slings are a safe place for a child to be.
Instead of running loose in crowded or dangerous places, a child in a ring sling is held safe and secure right next to your body. Ring slings also provide emotional safety when needed, so that children can venture into the world and become independent at their own pace. A new baby in a ring sling is safe from their sibling's poking fingers, strenuous yanks and suffocating hugs. Worn close, parents can have peace of mind that their newborn is breathing and having all their needs met immediately without escalating into crying.
9. Ring slings are economical.
Ring slings generally cost far less than strollers, front-carriers or backpacks. Many mothers consider the ring sling to be one of their most useful and economical possessions.
10. Baby-wearing is fun.
Who doesn't love to cuddle a precious little baby? And when your baby is older, having them in the ring sling makes conversations easier and allows you to observe their reactions to the wonders of the world around them. It's also fun for baby, because when they are up at eye level, other adults notice and interact with them more. Your child will feel more included in your life when they are in a ring sling, and, even if you don't think it's possible now, you will find yourself becoming more and more enchanted with this special little person.
TRY US ON FOR SIZE!
The very best way to figure out which ring sling to buy is to try it on! Let us help! We offer a personal baby carrier fitting session.
Helpful hints on what to look for in a sling:
1. Does it fit your height and build? Most brands come in one size and they only need to be adjusted for your build, and your baby's age and size.
2. How easy is it to adjust the carrier? Most ring slings have shoulder rings that allow for tightening and loosening by pulling excess fabric through. The sling will be pulled snugly for an infant, and loosened over time as the baby develops. Test this in the store, because a sling that cannot be easily adjusted, will not be used as often as one that is better constructed. When most slings come out of the box, they are stiff with 'sizing'. This is a starch to make it look great on the rack and thankfully washes out. Once they are washed, ring slings are much easier to adjust and much much softer.
3. A word about padding. Some people like slings with padding, while others do not. Try out various styles, and choose what works best for you. Padding can make a sling more comfortable, but some people find the pad just gets bunchy and never seems to be in the right place. I find that when you spread the material out across your entire shoulder cap and across your back, you will be very happy without any additional padding.